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Changes to Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits

Changes to Google Ad Grants for NonprofitsEvery month, Google provides $10,000 worth of advertising to 35,000 nonprofits around the world. Organizations utilize these ads to attract donors and volunteers, and promote advocacy or community events. Recently, however, Google has announced that it will no longer fund organizations that generate clicks on less than 5 percent of their ads. This number is just below the average click through rate of 6 percent for nonprofits.

Another important factor for nonprofits utilizing Google Ad Grants is a maximum $2 cost-per-click (CPC). CPC rates are determined by a bidding process, where more general terms that would be sought after by more companies or organizations are more expensive than specific, targeted keywords. For example, placing an ad for the search “hospital donation” would be more expensive than “Ophthalmology hospital north Peoria donation.”

Meeting these two requirements can be a difficult needle to thread, and choosing the right keywords is critical. This starts with defining a goal for your ad campaign. Is it to drive volunteers, donations, or get people to show up at an event? Once your goal is defined, you can create a list of keywords that will help drive your desired action (some further research may be required here). And once your campaign is live, it will need tending to. Mainly, which keywords are performing well and what are your click through and CPC rates for certain keywords?

The goal here isn’t to scare you away from applying for a Google Ad Grant—they can certainly add value for many organizations, and the risk of trying it out is basically zero. To be effective though, will take some time and commitment. Like with any new initiative, it should be measured in terms of return and availability of resources, especially time!

Shocking Statistic: The average click through rate for nonprofits in February 2018 was 6 percent (Reuters).